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Sun Jun 26 08:19:52 SAST 2016

Zephany Nurse's 'mom' tells court she didn't know buying babies was illegal

Philani Nombembe | 07 March, 2016 16:08
The woman accused of abducting Zephany Nurse leaves the Cape Town Magistrate's Court with her husband.
Image by: ADRIAN DE KOCK

Zephany Nurse was deprived of her parents’ love for 18 years because the woman accused of snatching her as a baby was allegedly unaware of the country’s adoption procedures.

The woman‚ 51‚ who cannot be named to protect Zephany‚ claimed ignorance under cross-examination by the prosecution in the Cape Town High Court on Monday.

Zephany was raised under a different name.

The woman has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping‚ fraud and contravention of the Children’s Act. She admitted to misleading her husband and her family into believing the child was hers.

In her plea explanation‚ she detailed her numerous attempts to conceive‚ a number of miscarriages and her desperation to adopt a child.

She said a woman she knew as “Sylvia” had given her the child‚ and told her that “a young girl was not interested in keeping her baby and wanted to give her up for adoption”.

She said she paid Sylvia R3‚000 for the adoption and fertility treatment.

The woman stuck to her plea explanation under cross-examination by prosecutor Evadne Kortje‚ in which she claimed “Sylvia” had initially given her medication to help her conceive. Kortje asked the woman why she trusted Sylvia with the adoption when she had failed to help her conceive.

“She was convincing‚” the woman said.

The woman was arrested on February 26 last year after DNA tests revealed she was not Zephany’s biological mother. She was barred from seeing her.

Zephany was reunited with her biological parents‚ Celeste and Morne Nurse‚ last year after her sister‚ Cassidy‚ enrolled at Zephany’s school and pupils remarked on their similarity‚ which led to an investigation.

The state claims the woman snatched Zephany from Groote Schuur Hospital on April 30‚ 1997.

Cross-examination continues on Tuesday.

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